Sara Hall of Flagstaff finished fifth Sunday at the Berlin Marathon, first among American women
Sara Hall, 36, ran a personal best 2 hours, 22 minutes, 16 seconds, sixth fastest in U.S. marathon history. Her previous PR was 2:26.20 at the 2018 Ottawa Marathon.
The women’s race was won by Ashete Bekere in 2:20:14, pulling away at the end from fellow-Ethiopian Mare Dibaba, 2:20:21, with Kenya’s Sally Chepyego taking third overall in 2:21:06.
Hall’s time takes four minutes from her previous best time of 2:26:20 and moves her up to sixth in the U.S. all-time rankings.
“I’m very happy. It’s the first time I’ve run a marathon with negative splits,” Hall told Runner’s World. “When I began to catch other women after halfway, I had fun and ran some 5:15 miles. It got tough near the end, with strong wind and running alone, but I finished strong. Ryan and I knew I was ready for an improvement, and it’s good to do it well.”
Hall is among several women with Arizona ties who are U.S. contenders for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Others include Amy Cragg, Emily Sisson, Kellyn Taylor, Desiree Linden, Allie Kieffer and Stephanie Bruce.
Hall also gave a lot of credit to her husband and coach, Ryan Hall, who is the American record holder in the half marathon. She said it was her best period of training ever, with not one day off for injury or illness since racing Boston in April.
“We knew from her training times that she was ready to move to a new level. It was a matter of getting it right in the race today,” Ryan Hall added.
posted Monday September 30th
by Jeff Mecalfe